Types of depression

There are different types of depression and, therefore, it’s important to know what these types are because your mental health services plan and treatment plan will change according to the type of depression you are facing.

Different types of depression

Prenatal depression

Almost 10% of women experience prenatal depression, a type of depression women experience during pregnancy. Prenatal depression causes relate to financial life, stressful moments in life or something bad happening to an acquaintance, friend or family member.


A severe form of depression, people dealing with melancholia suffer both physical and mental symptoms, which includes slow movement and a complete loss of interest in activities. Those who deal with melancholia often struggle to get through the day.

Psychotic depression

This is when a person loses their connection to reality and suffers from an extreme form of psychosis. People dealing with psychotic depression suffer from hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. They often feel that people around them are against them.                 

​​Dysthymic disorder

With symptoms of major depression that lasts longer with symptoms that are milder in severity. A chronic form of depression that lasts for a long time, those who are diagnosed with Dysthymic disorder, have been dealing with a form of severe depression for about two years.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

SAD is a mood disorder that changes depending on seasonal patterns. Some people feel depression, mania or other mood disorders at the beginning or end of a particular season. For example, SAD begins and ends during the winter months of the season. Symptoms of SAD include sleepiness, weight gain, overeating and a craving for carbohydrates. There is no clear reason behind SAD but one suggested explanation is that it is caused by changes in light exposure. However, compared to other forms of depression, SAD is rare in Australia.

Bipolar disorder

An exceedingly rare disease that affects 2% of the population, a bipolar disorder refers to a condition where someone experiences bouts of depression, swings to mania with normal moods in between.

Mania is the opposite of depression, identifiable through the following symptoms:

  • Feeling elated
  • Lots of energy
  • Struggling to stay focused
  • Feeling irritable
  • Talking quickly

People feeling mania also struggle with psychosis - moments when they lose touch with reality. When someone suffers from psychosis, they hallucinate and suffering from delusions. Bipolar disorders have many symptoms like alcohol/drug abuse, ADHD and schizophrenia. However, it’s not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder to be diagnosed with depression. An accurate diagnosis takes place only after an episode of mania and the consultation of a trained professional.

    Causes of depression​

      Learn about the causes of depression

Signs and symptoms of depression

Understand the indicators of depression

Treatment and support for depression

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